Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said Wednesday that his company will "enable consumers to watch movies in their home 60 days after theatrical release" during the second quarter of 2011.
The announcement is bound to cause an uproar in the exhibition industry. The theatrical release window that movie theaters depend on to keep their businesses alive could end up being compromised in a major way.
NATO president and CEO John Fithian recently wrote an editorial for Boxoffice stating that, "NATO has long maintained that a robust windowing system provides optimal results for the entire movie industry. The primacy of theatrical release enables feature films to demonstrate their appeal in the best platform of the big screen social experience. Success in a theatrical run drives success in the ancillary home markets. Consumers understand that a movie released in cinemas is different than product made for television, or for release solely on DVD or the Internet." Read the full editorial here.